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'Sons of Anarchy': Drea de Matteo talks Wendy's return. Find out when she'll be back again.

Jax is dealing with a lot right now on Sons of Anarchy: Opie’s death, Pope’s deal, the home invasions in Charming, and getting into the escort business with Nero. His ex-wife, ex-junkie Wendy (Drea de Matteo) — who wants to work her way back into son Abel’s life — is low on Jax’s list of priorities. We’ll next see Wendy in episode 512. De Matteo participated in a conference call with reporters today. The highlights:

• On Wendy’s intentions: “I definitely don’t think I have any ulterior motives. I definitely don’t think I want to come in there and screw anybody. I think she is, probably after all of the treatment that she’s been through and now becoming a counselor herself, the healthiest of the bunch. It’s pretty crazy…. It’s like watching a child grow up, to a certain degree. I think in the very beginning of the series she was extremely, extremely vulnerable. At first she was mess, then she was sober and a raw nerve. Now she comes back with her confidence in tact and not wanting to stir any s— up except for be a responsible party. And it seems the whole entire world has imploded, and she’s gonna have a hard time maneuvering within it because nobody’s stable over there. She’s now become the face of stability (Laughs), which is kind of funny.” READ FULL STORY

'Sons of Anarchy': Ashley Tisdale explains how she was cast as a high-priced escort

On Tuesday, Ashley Tisdale’s arc as innocent-looking call girl Emma Jean on Sons of Anarchy continues. Emma Jean was last seen taking a beating from Gemma (Katey Sagal) after being discovered in a back room with Clay (Ron Perlman) at Nero’s. She may or may not have phoned the cops, who raided the brothel and arrested everyone — including Gemma. On her lunch break today from the set of Scary Movie 5 in Atlanta, Tisdale, 27, best known for Disney’s High School Musical movies, participated in a conference call with reporters. “I’m so grateful for what Disney gave me and the experiences that I got,” she said, “but at the end of the day, it’s like, I can do so much more than what I did on that channel and what I did in those movies. And it takes just one person to kind of give you that chance. And for me it was Kurt Sutter….” The highlights:

On how she got cast: “I didn’t audition for the role. I actually was just a really big fan of the show. It’s kind of a funny story. My dad, who built my house, also actually builds for Kurt Sutter and Katey Sagal, and he has for years. And I’ve been in love with the show and I’ve always been like, ‘Dad, you gotta tell Kurt…. I want to be on the show.’ My dad’s so quiet and shy. He’s like, ‘No, no, no. I can’t do that.’ And so it just so happened that Kurt was writing Emma Jean and came upstairs to the kitchen and actually asked my dad. He’s like, ‘I’ve got a favor to ask you. I would love for Ashley to be on the show.’ And my dad was like, ‘Ohmygod, she’s gonna die.’ And so he definitely thought of me for the character. But of course, my agents, at first, were like, ‘I don’t know. We have to read it.’ I’m like, ‘I gotta do it! I gotta do it!’ Because like I said, it is one of my favorite shows.” READ FULL STORY

InsideTV Podcast: Why 'Sons of Anarchy' had to kill off [SPOILER]. Plus: 'Homeland,' 'Last Resort' and 'Survivor'

Image Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX

Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter punched his viewers in the gut this week when he killed off one of the show’s most beloved characters. If you’ve been living under a rock or catching up on the show and don’t know who it was, STOP READING NOW!  Over the course of the series, Opie has had pretty much every awful thing happen to him that possibly could, so to now have him killed in the most brutal way possible — being literally beaten to death—was simply too much for many fans to bear. But as SOA expert Mandi Bierly tells us on this week’s edition of the InsideTV Podcast, Opie’s offing makes total sense in the narrative of both the character and the show.

This wasn’t a death done for mere shock value. The clues were there all along, and all that fan outrage only means one thing — that the show ultimately succeeded in making Opie’s death as painful for viewers as it was for Jax and the Sons themselves. That’s called resonating. Continue your mourning by clicking on the audio player below as we break everything down and offer up some teases as to what to expect in the episodes to come. (The Sons of Anarchy chat beings at 24:00.)

But that’s not all we’re discussing and dissecting. Jessica Shaw and I have seen the first few episodes of Homeland’s second season and offer our spoiler-free review while also wondering how long the show can afford to keep Brody’s terrorist ties a secret. Then, we take a look at ABC’s new submarine drama, Last Resort. We both loved the first episode, but have major concerns about episode 2 (which we were able to view early). We’ll break down how Last Resort veers off course, and what it needs to do to get back to the promise of the pilot. (The Last Resort discussion starts at 9:35.) Finally, we break down the new season of Survivor: Philippines. Which players are we loving and loathing so far? And just how angry can I get when Jessica appears ready to say something negative about my 1980s TV crush Lisa Whelchel? Tune in and find out! (The Survivor chat starts at 16:20.) READ FULL STORY

'Sons of Anarchy' creator not shocked by actor's death

johnny-lewis.jpg

Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter expressed sorrow over actor Johnny Lewis’ death Thursday morning, but also said he wasn’t surprised by the circumstances surrounding his passing.

The 28-year-old Lewis played Kip “Half-Sack” Epps on two seasons of the FX drama and was found dead outside a home in Los Feliz, Los Angeles. An LAPD rep says that Lewis is a suspect in the killing of his landlord, 81-year-old Catherine Davis, whose body was found inside the residence. Police have speculated that Lewis may have died from a fall after killing Davis. READ FULL STORY

'Sons of Anarchy': Kurt Sutter explains last night's death

Spoiler Alert! If you haven’t watched last night’s episode of Sons of Anarchy yet, stop reading now. Creator Kurt Sutter had a conference call with reporters today to discuss the death that rocked fans.  READ FULL STORY

'Sons of Anarchy': Happy time -- VIDEO

As Sons of Anarchy fans wait anxiously for Tuesday’s episode, which will kill off a character (39 percent are betting on Unser), let’s take a moment to be Happy before we’re all sad. The latest “Behind the Anarchy” focuses on actor David Labrava, who has too nicknames in real life — “DL” and “Liftoff.” The best parts of the video are Theo Rossi (Juice) getting de-tattooed in the makeup trailer while he explains that Labrava is actually a sweetheart and later razzing Kim Coates (Tig) for wearing new jeans. “Now this is the level of outlaw conversation we have going on here at the Sons of Anarchy, which is the condition of this guy’s jeans,” Labrava says. “Not bikes. Not guns. Not blood. Jeans.”

READ FULL STORY

'Sons of Anarchy' shocker on FX: Someone's about to die! -- EXCLUSIVE

Only two weeks in and Sons of Anarchy has already packed some pretty painful punches. (RIP, Tig offspring!) Incredibly, Creator Kurt Sutter has only just begun: EW has learned that in Tuesday’s episode, a very important person within the SAMCRO family will die. It’s a primetime certainty!

Hold off on the waterworks, though: We weren’t let in on the character’s identity. But we did manage to persuade a key source within the SOA camp to confirm who may be on the chopping block. Here are six people who are ripe for the picking:

1. Wayne Unser (Dayton Callie). The former chief has terminal cancer, so he could either die a natural death or commit suicide. Then again, he did decide to take the law in his own hands by investigating the strange spate of Charming break-ins. Maybe he’s onto something that someone doesn’t want him to know? READ FULL STORY

New 'Sons of Anarchy' season 5 promo: More threats! More jail time! -- VIDEO

Coming off record ratings for last night’s season 5 premiere, FX’s Sons of Anarchy shows no signs of slowing down in the promo below. READ FULL STORY

'Sons of Anarchy' premiere shatters records

The explosive return of Sons of Anarchy did a number on the ratings, too: The 90-minute season 5 premiere attracted a whopping 5.37 million viewers, making it the most watched episode ever in the drama’s history on FX.

The episode was not only the No. 1 program on cable in viewers, adults 18-49 (3.5 million) and adults 25-54 (3.45 million), but it was the top-rated episode among men 18-49 and men 18-34 in all of broadcast and cable. It was up in all of the key demos too versus its fourth season premiere, including 10 percent in viewers and 14 percent in adults 25-54. In addition, it dominated the 10 o’clock hour in the key adult demos — even beating what was on broadcast TV.

“It’s so rare, especially in the current fragmented environment, to see a show grow into its fifth season,” said John Landgraf, President and General Manager, FX Networks, in a statement. “The fact that the season five premiere episode is also likely to become FX’s highest rated telecast of all time is a testament to the quality of work Kurt Sutter, the writers, directors, cast and crew have done on this extraordinarily ambitious and riveting drama.”

The SOA ranked as FX’s most-watched telecast in its 18-year history among men 18-49 (2.15 million) and men 18-34 (1.18 million).

Twelve more episodes will air on Tuesdays at 10. The motorcycle drama has already been picked up for a sixth season.

For more:

SOA premiere: Kim Coates takes us inside that scene
Gallery: 21 of the Most Disturbing TV Scenes Ever
‘Sons of Anarchy’ season premiere review: Was this the fall TV season’s most intense season premiere?

'Sons of Anarchy' season premiere: Kim Coates takes us inside THAT scene

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t watched Sons of Anarchy‘s season 5 premiere (get Ken Tucker’s take), stop reading now. We talked to actor Kim Coates about Tig’s first run-in with Damon Pope (Harold Perrineau) — and what’s next.  READ FULL STORY

'Sons of Anarchy': 5 things first-timers should know to jump into the season 5 premiere

Tonight, Sons of Anarchy returns with an explosive, emotional fifth season premiere (FX, 10 p.m. ET). Since we’ve already given diehards plenty of intel on season 5, let’s talk to the people who’ve heard how great this EWwy-nominated show is (Ken Tucker gives it an an A- in the current issue of EW) but haven’t had a chance to catch up. Here are five things you need to know in order to jump in tonight. READ FULL STORY

'Sons of Anarchy': Are Clay's days numbered? Plus: What to expect in season 5

Image Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX

Somehow, someway, Clay survived season 4 of Sons of Anarchy. But does that mean the former SAMCRO prez is now in the clear, or are his days still numbered? Mandi Bierly and I discuss that and more as we preview Sons of Anarchy’s upcoming season 5 on the latest edition of the InsideTV Podcast.

What can we expect from the new additions of Jimmy Smits and Harold Perrineau? What is Gemma’s next move? And how will Jax react to being at the head of the table? We’ve seen the first two episodes and will provide our thoughts and teases as for what to expect. Just click on the audio player icon below to hear Mandi and me break it down. (The Sons of Anarchy discussion begins at 14 minutes in.)

But first, Dan Snierson and Melissa Maerz stop by to discuss and debate the Breaking Bad 2012 finale. Is Walt’s cancer back? Is Jesse really out? And should we be rooting for Heisenberg at this point, or against him? We answer all that and present theories as to how the whole thing may end. Plus, Annie Barrett calls in preview the new (and hopefully improved) X Factor. Will the addition of Britney Spears and Demi Lovato make the show watchable? Is it worth giving The X Factor another shot? (The X Factor chat starts at 26:00.) READ FULL STORY

'Sons of Anarchy': Behind the scenes with Joel McHale -- VIDEO

While we won’t meet Joel McHale’s con man Warren (no last name) in Sons of Anarchy‘s Sept. 11 season 5 premiere (he first appears in episode six), you can watch him in action now in the latest installment of “Before the Anarchy” embedded below. We see him in makeup (there will be blood), and he talks about his chance to shoot guns and possibly a nude scene. (We hope/assume he isn’t joking about that.) READ FULL STORY

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